ABC's new show, "Glass House", is so much like a certain competitor network's cash cow "Big Brother" that it has started an all-out, balls-to-the-wall fight of epic proportions. Give these networks a ring and some metal chairs, 'cause I think Summerslam is comin' early this year.
The shows both put several strangers in a house together and films every moment of their lives over a period of several weeks; their fate is decided by how they engage one another and at the end of every week, one member is voted out of the house. Both shows incorporate live streaming online of the various surveillance cameras mounted around the house; it's voyeurism at its best. The main difference is that "Glass House" members are voted off by viewers via polls on Facebook and a mobile app; "Big Brother" housemates are voted off by one another. And while there have been several shows spun off to different networks which resemble each other--"American Idol", "America's Got Talent", and "The Voice", to name a few--the thing that's really chapping CBS's hide is that no fewer than 19 former employees of "Big Brother" are now working on "Glass House".
Even though "Glass House" premiered to not-so-great ratings on Monday, NBC is none too thrilled that ABC is trying to horn in on their reality-based territory and is getting legal, trying to find some sort of copyright protection for reality television. It's proving difficult, and has hampered their lawsuit. That's where a cheeky little press release comes in.
Los Angeles, June 21, 2012 – Subsequent to recent developments in the creative and legal community, CBS Television today felt it was appropriate to reveal the upcoming launch of an exciting, ground-breaking and completely original new reality program for the CBS Television Network.
The dazzling new show, DANCING ON THE STARS, will be broadcast live from the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, and will feature moderately famous and sort of well-known people you almost recognize competing for big prizes by dancing on the graves of some of Hollywood’s most iconic and well-beloved stars of stage and screen.
The cemetery, the first in Hollywood, was founded in 1899 and now houses the remains of Andrew “Fatty” Arbuckle, producer Cecil B. DeMille, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Paul Muni, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, George Harrison of the Beatles and Dee Dee Ramone of the Ramones, among many other great stars of stage, screen and the music business. The company noted that permission to broadcast from the location is pending, and that if efforts in that regard are unsuccessful, approaches will be made to Westwood Village Memorial Park, where equally scintillating luminaries are interred.
“This very creative enterprise will bring a new sense of energy and fun that’s totally unlike anything anywhere else, honest,” said a CBS spokesperson. “Given the current creative and legal environment in the reality programming business, we’re sure nobody will have any problem with this title or our upcoming half-hour comedy for primetime, POSTMODERN FAMILY. After all, people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”
Obviously this is more personal than just the creation of a similar show, or CBS wouldn't have gone to all the trouble to come up with such a lengthy, well-thought-out smack in the face. At this rate, the battle won't be over anytime soon.
Image credit: ABC